Archive for Campaign Update

Building Futures Campaign surpasses $16.5-million goal

A  campaign responsible for the largest campus transformation in Niagara College history was capped off with a successful end to thunderous applause as the amount of funds raised was revealed.

On April 17, 2012, The Niagara College Foundation announced  that it has successfully completed its Building Futures Campaign, exceeding the original $16.5-million target by more than $1-million.

Launched in 2008, the campaign has raised $17.7-million for new facilities, equipment and learning resources, and scholarships and bursaries. With matching funds from the provincial government’s former Ontario Trust for Student Support program, the campaign’s total impact on student learning and success is $21-million.

Niagara College students pledged $10 million to the campaign – a commitment that will be shared by thousands of students over 15 years. The student pledge supported the construction of the Athletics Centre and Student Centre at the Welland Campus.

The Building Futures campaign received outstanding support from Niagara College staff, who contributed $270,000 to the campaign – almost tripling the campaign’s goal of $100,000 in staff contributions.

“We’re overwhelmed by the outstanding support we’ve received from our students, staff and faculty, and community donors,” said Acting President Steve Hudson. “The money raised through the Building Futures Campaign not only supports the largest capital expansion in our College’s history, but will also contribute to the ongoing success of our students, through scholarships and bursaries, and the purchase of learning equipment and learning resources.”

The facilities portion of the Building Futures Campaign supported the construction of six new buildings at the Welland Campus, as well as the construction of the Wine Visitor + Education Centre (opened in 2009), the Niagara College Teaching Brewery (opened in spring 2011) and expanded culinary facilities (opened in fall 2011) at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.

At Welland, the master plan project included the construction of an Athletic Centre, Student Centre, Learning Commons, Academic Wing, Applied Health Institute and an expansion of the Rankin Technology Centre, all of which were opened in spring 2011. Including the student pledge, the Building Futures Campaign raised $13.2 million for the construction portion of the master plan.

The campus redevelopment was designed to increase capacity in programs that serve key industries in Niagara, healthcare, skilled trades, technology, winery and viticulture and hospitality and tourism, while providing much-needed improvements to aging facilities.

The remaining $4.5-million is funding the purchase of new equipment and learning resources ($1.2-million) and scholarships and bursaries ($3.3-million).

“Those who supported the Building Futures Campaign have invested in Niagara College, our students and the future prosperity of the Niagara region,” said Sean Kennedy, CEO of the Niagara College Foundation and NC’s Acting Vice President Academic. “The new buildings and equipment enhance our ability to produce the highly-skilled workers who drive our economy. The scholarship and bursary portion of the campaign will provide educational opportunities to students who may otherwise be unable to pursue and achieve their goals.”

The Building Futures Campaign was led by Co-Chairs Anna Olson, a celebrated chef, author and television host, and Mark Basciano, owner and president of the Mountainview Group of Companies – the largest homebuilder in Niagara. The campaign drew support from students, staff, and the broader community, including individuals, businesses and organizations.


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Olson, Basciano to lead Building Futures Campaign

Anna Olson and Mark Basciano announced as Co-chairs of Building Futures Campaign

Anna Olson and Mark Basciano Co-chairs of Building Futures Campaign

Two of Niagara’s community leaders, each of whom has made a tremendous mark in very different fields, will take the helm of Niagara College’s $16.5 million Building Futures Campaign.

Food Network star and Chef Anna Olson and Mark Basciano, President of the Mountainview Group, were introduced November 20 as Campaign Co-chairs. Basciano and Olson will lead the campaign to raise the community portion of the money required to support the College’s $50 million Master Plan.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have two outstanding community leaders join us in this important endeavour,” said Niagara College President Dan Patterson. “Anna and Mark are very aware of the important role Niagara college plays in our community, and they understand the importance of investing in our College’s future. We’re very grateful for their support.”

Basciano is the Owner and President of the Mountainview Group of companies, which includes Mountainview Homes, Mountainview Custom Homes, Mountainview Construction and Mountainview Properties. The award-winning Thorold company was formed in 1979 and is a market leader and premier homebuilder in Niagara.

Like the company he leads, Mark is community-minded and lends his time to many charitable endeavours that benefit local charities and agencies, including the March of Dimes, the Niagara Children’s Centre, Wellspring Niagara, and Hotel Dieu Hospital.

Olson is the host of Food Network Canada’s Sugar, and Kitchen Equipped, which also aired on HGTV. Her latest show, Fresh with Anna Olson, is broadcast from her Welland home, and promotes her motto “eat fresh, eat local.”

Olson has also written three cookbooks and co-authored two more with her husband, Niagara College Chef/Professor Michael Olson. She also writes for various publications, including Vines, LCBO Food & Drink, and a co-written column with her husband for the St. Catharines Standard. Anna and Michel own Olson Foods at Port and Olson Foods at Ravine.

Giving back to the community, Olson supports the Niagara Women’s Enterprise Centre, which provides hospitality training to women. She participates in a number of fundraisers, and her end-of-day product from the bakery is given to the local YWCA women’s shelter or Out of the Cold Program. Olson also sits on the board for the Adolescent Family support Services of Niagara, which provides education daycare support for young mothers.

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Welcome to the Building Futures Campaign

Niagara College announced an ambitious $50 million campus redevelopment plan today that includes significant improvements and additions to its Welland Campus, and the construction of a Wine Education Centre at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.

The comprehensive campus redevelopment project is designed to increase capacity in programs that serve key industries in Niagara, including skilled trades, technology, winery and viticulture and hospitality and tourism, while providing much-needed improvements to aging facilities.

“Niagara College is a catalyst in the transitioning of Niagara’s economy. Our campus plans and investments are designed to help our region meet the challenges that come with a changing economy and an urgent need for highly skilled workers,” said Niagara College President Dan Patterson.

The project is also a response to the College’s unprecedented growth, including a 10.1 percent increase in total enrolment for the Fall 2008 term – the largest increase among all Ontario colleges.

The capital project will create more than 1,000 postsecondary student spaces, and provide additional capacity for access training, academic upgrading and apprentice programs that provide opportunity for re-training and address skills shortages. Completion of the project is scheduled for the fall of 2010.

New additions to the Welland Campus will include:
• An Academic Wing with two 140-seat lecture theatres, lecture rooms, classrooms and labs;
• A Library and Learning Commons with an internal courtyard;
• A two-storey Athletics Centre with a double varsity-sized gymnasium, expanded fitness centres and a “green roof”;
• A Student Centre that includes a two-storey great hall, alumni lounge, bar and food-service facility, and offices.
• A significant expansion of the state of the art Technology Skills Centre
• Conversion of the existing student centre to a new visual arts/design centre

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus will see the construction of a new Wine Education Centre that will integrate academic programming, facilities for the unique Niagara College Teaching Winery and an educational centre for students, industry and visitors. The Niagara Culinary Institute will also be expanded.

The plan has already drawn the support of the Province of Ontario, which has invested $16.9 million in the project. Over the past decade, through sound financial planning, the College has established reserves that will cover approximately another one-third of the project cost. The College will look to the community, including regional and municipal governments, business, organizations and individuals to invest in this significant project.

“Niagara College is an economic success story in Niagara and our Campus Master Plan project is an exciting investment in Niagara’s future,” said Patterson, “We look forward to support from all areas of our community to make it happen.”

Further information on the project is available online at

With 7,500 full-time students, Niagara College offers more than 90 diploma and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines. Areas of specialization include hospitality and tourism, technology and community safety. The College is also home to the globally recognized Niagara Culinary Institute and to Canada’s first commercial teaching winery.

For information contact:
Gordon Hunchak
Director, Marketing & Communications
905 735-2211 ext. 7567

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